Your Love Is All The Magic I Need
A/N: Don't own a thing, especially not HP. I hope you enjoy Chapter Thirty. Italics denote thoughts. Bold is for spells.
Chapter Thirty: The Ball III
Fleur, Harry had noticed and not for the first time, was enjoying the attention as they made their way towards the enchanted grotto outside of the castle. It's not so bad, I guess, being famous if I'm with Fleur and Tonks. He thought as they arrived at a small bench hidden from the others. "It's very peaceful here…" Fleur said after a moment, a trace of nervous energy in her voice, "It's as if, for tonight, the world outside of the school doesn't exist."
Her hand went to rest on Harry's. He took her hand in his own and squeezed it gently, Fleur's hand compared to his own was soft and silky. His fingers felt rough even months after the work he'd done on Privet Drive, especially so compared to the much slimmer hand of his girlfriend. Fleur leaned against his shoulder and sighed contentedly. "After the tournament, you must come to France for the summer. We can return before your school year begins, if you wish."
"If I wish?" Harry said with a smile, "Do you think I will love France so much?"
"Think about it." Was all the answer she gave as she squeezed his hand, "You are famous there, but not nearly as much. Beauxbatons is a better school, the weather is better-"
"And all the children are above average." Harry finished with a laugh, "You love Beauxbatons, but Hogwarts is the first place I ever felt like I was home. I wouldn't leave unless I had a very good reason."
Fleur pouted, but there was a glint in her eyes that said she was teasing him. Harry was about to say something when they heard two very large people walk on the other side of their bushes. Fleur peered through the bushes and gasped quietly, "It's Madame Maxime and the Groundkeeper." She whispered to Harry, her eyebrows raised in surprise.
Harry moved closer to look. Sure enough, Hagrid, in his horrible suit and Maxime in her dark dress, sat on a bench overlooking a fountain. Harry had never heard Hagrid sound like this, his voice was thick like it normally was when he'd had a few drinks from the pub in the village, but his tone was soft, "I knew…from the moment I saw you, I knew you were like me."
"Like you?" Maxime said. Harry noticed that there was a definite strain in her voice, "I don't know what you mean." Fleur noticed it too, silently she tugged at his hand and pulled him from the bushes. They had just made it to the edge of the grotto when they heard Maxime's roar of 'I have big bones!' and saw her push past them as she raced away in the direction of the carriage.
Fleur sighed, "It is good that we have the rest of the break for her to calm down. She will be fuming about whatever he said for days." She told Harry as they wandered back towards the castle. "There have always been rumors about her, about her size. The stigma, it's not as bad here, but there is always talk that she is," Fleur cast her eyes around before dropping her voice to a whisper, "a half-giant."
"You mean there are actual giants still around?" Harry said in surprise, "I- I mean we read a little about them in Defense in my first year-"
"There are, in the most remote places they can find." Fleur said, her voice still very quiet, "They are dangerous beings, violent and prone to killing themselves. From the books about- about the Dark Lord, they joined him, many died from the Aurors and the few who survived fled. If people thought Madame was a half-giant…they would want her removed from her position."
From her perch in Fleurs hair, Rita had heard enough. As the couple walked back into the Great Hall, she clambered out and flitted away unseen. She had writing to do.
The next morning found Harry and his friends in the room they'd found back at work on the plan for getting whatever the chosen object was from the bottom of the lake. They had run into a problem, tracking spells were essentially one-shot spells. He couldn't put more than one object at a time under a tracking spell. When he tried tracking his Cloak and his Firebolt both spells had canceled.
He couldn't think of a way around the problem. Professor Flitwick wouldn't be able to help as this was for the Tournament and he couldn't advise Harry. I could always see if he would talk to Tonks about it…then she could tell me what he said. Harry shook his head, Flitwick would see right through that. I could talk to Sirius, he wouldn't care about the rules…
"Hey there!" Tonks' chipper voice cut through his thoughts as she sat down beside him. When she hadn't seen them downstairs for lunch that only meant that she needed to check the library. Failing that, she'd called for Dobby and that had led her to them. "You lot are annoying to find." She fake-groused as she threw her arm around Harry, "I just finished seeing Rhee and the band off. She said she could twist their arms and get the Weird Sisters to play at the wedding."
"W-wedding?!" Harry sputtered, dropping his copy of 101 Charms for the Desperate and Daring.
Tonks looked completely serious, "Our wedding, of course, the three of us."
Fleur and Harry looked at each other, "I-" He began.
"But-" Fleur added.
Tonks laughed, surprising them both, "Maeve's baps, you two are easy!" She chuckled and wiped at her eye, "Harry might be a legal adult, but I'm still waiting until he can buy me a proper drink before I show him anything under my robes."
"You're wearing jeans." Harry pointed out.
"Yeah, they make my legs look great don't they?" Tonks said as she stretched out her right leg slowly, admiring herself, "However, that's not the point and you know it. The point," She said, poking him in the chest, "Is that you aren't ready yet."
"If we could move on from whether or not I'm ready for you to have your way with me," Harry said rolling his eyes, "Could you please tell me if you know a way to do multiple tracking spells at once?"
Tonks thought for a moment, her hair shifting from color to color as she did so, "The only way I know is to link each spell to a specific object. I don't mean the target, I mean use an object to store the energy of the spell."
"I'm lost," Harry said.
"What if we tied it to a mirror?" Hermione spoke up from her seat beside Neville and Luna. "We could use a spoken word to activate the tracking spell and Harry could use the mirror to see the object."
"That's amazing!" Neville said earning a blush from the brunette.
"It is," Tonks said, "However I don't know how to do that. I do however have a friend that could make it. I'll pop into London and ask Tulip about it, with any luck she could have one made in a few days and we can layer the spells."
"That's brilliant!" Harry said kissing her cheek.
"Hah! Count it! I got brilliant, you just got amazing!" Tonks teased Hermione, "Plus I got a kiss from Harry." She laughed as Hermione and Neville both blushed deep crimson and leaned back against Harry.
"What's with all the teasing?" Harry asked after a moment.
Tonks shrugged, "I've been bored today. Bones doesn't want me to do much besides watch right now, Sirius has to play the good boy for Dumbledore." She picked at a spot on her chin for a moment, "Plus I think I'm getting a hair on my chin. My mum has a few, you should see her at her mirror working on her hairs." She conjured a silver mirror and began to look at her chin.
"Can't you just-" Harry started, "you know, just make them go away?"
"My powers don't work that way." Tonks said continuing to inspect that spot, "I would have to constantly think about it. I'd rather do it the easy way and just pluck them."
"You could use a depilatory potion," Hermione said from her spot across from them.
"Have you used one?" Tonks said Hermione, "Those things smell like a wet Guinness fart and sting like getting your curlies caught in flypaper." Everyone winced at that image and she settled back to inspecting her chin.
It was Fleur who spoke up a few moments later, "Tonks, would it be possible for you to get a copy of the Daily Prophet for us? I want to start looking around for a job after the end of the year. This way I can see what jobs are out there."
"I could," Tonks said, "Or we could just all go. It isn't like we have anything going on right now except sitting here and reading. I can stop in and see Tulip while we're at it."
"We can't just leave the school," Hermione said looking scandalized, "We aren't supposed to go anywhere off school grounds." Tonks laughed at that. Hermione gave an annoyed huff, "It's not funny."
"Hermione, please remove the stick from your knickers." Tonks said lightly, "I can get us all out through the floo in Sirius' office. School isn't in session, so it's not like you're going to get a detention if you are with me."
Hermione was still annoyed with Tonks though, "I will stay here. I have a lot of studying to do before the term begins again." She said stiffly before standing up and walking out of the room.
"Touchy, isn't she?" Tonks said casually, though she felt a twinge of guilt. She hadn't intended on messing with Hermione that much, but she was rather a stiff personality. It's not my fault she took it so seriously… She thought as the others put away their books and stood up to walk with her.
"Please, be a little nicer to her." Harry admonished, "With Ron gone, she's my oldest friend here." Harry's chest gave an odd little twinge at the thought of his friend. "Is- is it possible that he had his mind tampered with?"
"You mean as she had?" Tonks asked as they made their way down towards the corridor that housed the Defense classroom, "It's possible. I'll talk to Hestia, she's the Auror handling his case's paperwork."
They didn't say anything else until they got to the Defense classroom. Tonks opened the door before immediately closing it again and turning to face the others, "Hey, better idea, let's go anywhere else right now." She said her hair turning a sickly yellow color, "We need to-to not be in that classroom."
"Why?" Harry asked her.
Tonks pulled him along, and the rest of the group followed behind them, "Because I just caught Sirius nailing Professor Sinestra to the desk."
"You mean they were-" Harry felt a sickening lurch in his stomach, "Yeah, maybe we should go back to the room and study some more instead."
"What is it?" Fleur asked as she and Evangeline hurried to match pace with them.
"Caught my cousin banging a coworker." Tonks said quickly as they rounded the corner, "Now I need to go take a shower and then take a memory charm for that brief but horrible moment."
Hermione put her books down a bit more angrily than she had intended, earning a baleful look from Madam Pince. She opened her Charms textbook and began to study, copying down notes on the banishing charm. I can't believe she told me to take the stick out of my knickers, I don't have a stick anywhere. She thought angrily, She's the one with the stick, a stupid stick of bitchiness.
Wait, Hermione thought after a moment, That's not fair. If it wasn't for her, I would still have that compulsion charm on me and would be spying on Harry. Her furious quillwork slowed, and she continued to calm down, Tonks is just more boisterous than I'm used to. Hermione had a habit of putting things in mental boxes. People who didn't easily fit in those boxes were the ones whom Hermione had the most problems with.
Like House Elves. She thought, If someone had just said they were symbiotic then I wouldn't have suggested freeing them so much as ensuring they weren't abused. The common answer of 'they like serving' hadn't sat well with her. It smacked of someone trying to assuage their guilt and that wasn't her interest.
Draco had been working on his Transfiguration essay when she'd come inside. He'd watched her putting her things down and begin writing angrily. This is a perfect opportunity. He thought all I have to do is convince Granger that I'm 'trying to change my ways'. He looked down at his paper, too bad she didn't keep her hair in that knot she had at the Ball…she looked almost human like that.
He stood up and walked over, she was so caught up in her studying that she didn't notice him. "Gr- I mean Hermione, can we talk?" He prided himself on the way he made himself sound like it was a difficult thing like he was genuinely trying to be different.
"What do you want Malfoy?" Hermione said sharply, her eyes narrowing as she turned to face him.
He drew in a breath, "I just wanted to- to apologize for what I've done to you, and for what I've said to you and about you. Potter saved me from Azkaban, and I've been doing some thinking." He held out a hand, "Can we try again?"
Hermione looked at his hand and then back to him, "Not yet. Prove to me that you aren't still a bigoted little bully and I'll believe you."
A flicker of annoyance lingered in Draco's eyes for a moment, but it vanished quickly. "Fair enough, we'll try again later then." He walked back to his table and sat down. For a moment, he watched her beginning to write once more. Keep up the act Draco, and you'll be free of that stupid bond soon enough…